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WWII British Royal Air Force RAF officer's & hat badge

Article about: Can you help with this hat? ww2 or post war?

  1. #11

    Default Re: WWII British Royal Air Force RAF officer's & hat badge

    Don't put too much faith in the 1953 date.

    The buttons on the cap look well polished (wartime).

    Someone else has challenged the badge and the hole placement.

    Re. hole placement...sometimes ORs were commissioned....if they had a nice cap they might just re-badge it. (RAF officers routinely wore OR BD for working dress around the station and even flying.)

    Conclusion: I'd have to handle the cap to give you a verdict. Sorry I can't be more helpful.



  2. #12

    Default Re: WWII British Royal Air Force RAF officer's & hat badge

    For all intents and purposes its a kings crown badged officers cap. My opinion is, its a possibly a Dutch made or issued cap with RAf insignia added. Evidence: the construction details, holes present underneath existing unworn insignia and the metric size stamp. But thats just my opinion. I wouldn't buy the cap for more that 10 - 20

  3. #13

    Default Re: WWII British Royal Air Force RAF officer's & hat badge

    Hi Mike, as I said earlier, there are much better examples out there to buy.

    Cheers, Ade.

  4. #14

    Default Re: WWII British Royal Air Force RAF officer's & hat badge

    An old thread but only just catching up.....for my money this cap was/is either a post-war officers side hat OR a WW2 Warrant Officers issued hat.

    During the WW2 era and well into the post-war era officers hats were NOT issued and were private purchase only. This hat is clearly not a private purchase item - the lining and marking details give that away.

    Warrant Officers had their hats issued. They were of a smooth barathea material - the same as officers but with their unique WO insignia, which has a wider spacing for the rear lugs, which may explain the holes on this example. They were stamped inside in the same way as OR (in fact OA - Other Airmen) caps but with a "Cap, Warrant Officer" type of nomenclature. They could have one made as could OA's but generally not common - in terms of austerity why purchase an item you were issued for free!

    As it would appear that the hat could be sized "56", if so, this puts it firmly in the post-war era as this is a metric size and would probably date from the 70's or 80's, possibly even later, although the stitching may lend itself to an early post-war life. Difficult to be absolutely certain. ALL wartime headwear is sized to imperial measurements i.e 6 3/4, 7 1/2 etc.

    It is quite common for these hats to look rather battered and aged as they are still worn on everyday occassions, unlike their army "barrack dress" equivalents. Swapping the buttons and badges is very easy to do and would cost very little. I would also expect a wartime officers cap badge to be attached by nut and screwthread rather than split pin, not always the case but more usual.

    May i also add, there was no such thing as "OR's BD's" in the RAF. Early in WW2 (up to 1941) aircrew of ALL ranks were issued BD's which were titled and labelled "Suits, Aircrew", the trousers having a field dressing flap pocket and button tabs at the hem. Post-1941, BD's were issued across all branches to all ranks and was thence titled "War Service dress". The trousers lost the tabs and had a standard army-type field dressing pocket of the pleated button type instead of the flap type.

    War service dress is relatively easy to source but "Suits Aircrew" items are much scarcer. Even rarer are the "Heavy Duty Dress" ("HDD") RAF BD's which were made of khaki serge and to all intents and purposes looked the same as army BD apart from the label. The intended use for HDD was in the N. Africa and Mediterranean theatres although contemporary photos show them in use in all theatres.

    Bored yet???? Like I said, been a while so catching up!
    Last edited by skypilot; 07-18-2011 at 09:29 PM.

  5. #15

    Default Re: WWII British Royal Air Force RAF officer's & hat badge

    Hi, A nice early looking Air Force Chip!! The officer's pattern cap badge is, in my opinion, a standard pattern possibly of private purchase. The buttons however, are not RAF and, as has been suggested, probably Dutch. If you blow the picture up you will see that the King's Crown (Imperial) is of vastly different style to those on the buttons. Only personal opinions but possibly 1. A fabrication using a Dutch cap and RAF insignia? 2. A cap belonging to a Dutch airman in the RAF during WWII and wearing his own cap with RAF insignia. In either event, I do not believe that the cap and the badge were contemporary with each other but given the confusion and shortages in the early part of WWII, it strikes me as a distinct possibility of being in the catagory of the latter??? Regards Michael R PS I have a modern Dutch Chip in my collection with an anodised RAF cap badge and worn by an RAF airman at AFCENT. Wrong but undoubtedly worn!!
    PS to the above. Given that the cap is not RAF but of European origin, this would also account for the metric size. Also, WO's, although supposed to wear their own beret badge with the FS cap, also took to wearing the officer's pattern badge. This practice is now banned in accordance with RAF Dress Regulations and the provisions of the AP 1086 Catalogue of General RAF Equipment. Where confusion may arise re officer/OR BDs or No2 HD is that both officers and OR's could and did have No1 HD uniforms altered to BD style at personal expense so it was not unusual to see officers wearing hairies and ORs wearing uniforms in No1 material. Hope this helps Regards MR

  6. #16

    Default Re: WWII British Royal Air Force RAF officer's & hat badge

    Hi all.

    I would say this is a Dutch cap. As Michael suggested, If you look carefully at the buttons they have the Dutch crown and not the British KC plus the eagle is flying in the wrong direction (see crown examples)

    Later example of Dutch Air Force button.
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    Also the lining is different to three different wartime RAF Officer examples I have, suggesting the cap is postwar and not private purchase. Also the badge backing plate is a different shape to those commonly encountered while the cap shape also looks too "upright". (Attachment could be with the nut and bolt or split pins).

    I would say someone added the badge to make this look like a wartime RAF Officer's cap.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #17

    Default Re: WWII British Royal Air Force RAF officer's & hat badge

    I thought forage caps were replaced by berets in the early 50s, or was that other ranks?...
    It's a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers.

    I'm Spartacus, not really i'm Paul!...

  8. #18

    Default Re: WWII British Royal Air Force RAF officer's & hat badge

    Technically these are not forage caps but Field Service caps. I think you are right though that these were replaced in the favour of the beret for all ranks, however I am sure Officers are still permitted to wear their FS cap whilst off-duty. Such as the army coloured FS cap was.

  9. #19

    Default Re: WWII British Royal Air Force RAF officer's & hat badge

    Re the last entry. FS caps are currently classed as optional headdress. Although not an official issue item, their wear is permitted for all ranks but at personal expence. The official No2 Dress headdress is still the "All Ranks" beret. The current breakdown for the FS cap is:
    1. Anodised OR cap badge Large - Apprentice/Aircrew Cadet to Flight Sergeant (Apprentice with coloured squadron backing disc, Aircrew Cadet white). Blue/grey Piping
    2. Gilded metal WO Miniature Beret badge - WO and MAc. Ditto
    3. Gilded metal Officer Miniature Beret badge - Officer Cadet to Wing Commander (O Cdt with White Backing Disc). Ditto
    4. Gilded metal Officer Miniature Beret badge - Group Captain. Minerva Blue Piping as per Air Officer.
    5. Gold embroidered Air Officer Miniature Beret Badge - All Air Rank Officers. Ditto.
    Variations in quality, linings and sweat bands and even buttons are numerous.
    I hope that this is of interest to you and of use. Regards and best wishes Michael R

  10. #20

    Default Re: WWII British Royal Air Force RAF officer's & hat badge

    Very interesting. I didn't know this included all ranks. The modern FS cap is not to be worn on duty is that right?

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